History of Westport Baptist Church
A Partial History
1896 - 1923
| A group met at the
school house, located north of the present church house in Westport,
Tennessee, on Saturday afternoon, April 26, 1896, for the purpose of
organizing the Westport Baptist Church. The presbytery consisted of
Eld. E.M. Joyner and Eld. George Hollowell. Twenty-two (11 males and
11 females) came with letters of recommendation from Mt. Comfort, Oak
Grove and Concord Churches. These were Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Bateman, Mr.
and Mrs. J.J. Bateman, Mr. and E.T. Butler, Elizah Butler, Mr. and Mrs.
A.M. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Joyner, Walter Joyner, A.B. King, Theodore
Lemons, Sallie Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Sanders, W.G. Sanders, B.E.
Sanders, and Mr. and Mrs. N.C. Spellings.
Eld. George Hollowell read the Articles of Faith, and Eld. E.M. Joyner, the moderator, read the covenant. Bro. Hollowell gave the charge to the church.
At meetings on April 30 and Mary 30, E.M. Joyner was elected as permanent moderator and A.M. Hall as church clerk.
In June and July, J.L. Hilliard and wife joined and W.C. McAuley and
wife, E.E. Sanders and J.L. Hilliard were elected deacons. N.G. Spellings was elected chairman of the building committee. A lot south of the school house - the present location of the church house - was bought and plans made for a house, size 30' x 50'. A subscription was taken and amounted to $183.
During the protracted meeting some joined by letter and all were received for baptism, including E.E. Hicks and son, Garvin.
The first delegates elected to the Association at Marlboro Church were E.M. Joyner and E.T. Butler. Thirty-one dollars was collected as pay for the pastor.
In 1897 among the members received by experience and baptism were Elijah Bateman, Garvin Joyner, Elbert Kirksey and Thomas McArthur and wife. G.G. Blount and wife, Dora, joined by letter. T.M. Boyd also joined by letter. The minutes record the church withdrawing fellowship from a member for drunkenness.
In 1898 Garvin Joyner was elected sexton at 50 cents per month. Joe Joyner and wife joined by letter, also J.C. Sanders, Jim Joyner, and W.C. Sanders joined by experience and baptism.
In 1899, the minutes state that the deed to the church was recorded and a group composed of E.T. Butler, A.M. Hall, E.E. Hicks, J.L. Hilliard, E.E. Sanders, and N.G. Spellings paid off the note in full which W.L. Sanders held against them. Each paid $17.62. No date is recorded in the minutes when the group moved into the new church building, but according to Bro. Garvin Joyner, many were so happy that day that they should for joy.
S.K. Hurst was elected pastor. E.M. Joyner had been elected each year since the organization of the church.
In 1906 there is recorded some withdrawing of fellowship for drunkenness, dancing and giving of dances.
During the revival these were received by experience and baptism: John Hilliard, Ethel Horn, Gertie McAuley, Rupert McAuley, Colie Sanders, B.O. Sanders, and Clarence Rogers. E.M. Joyner was elected pastor. The delegates to the Association were to vote against cooperation with the State Mission Board and against a division of the Association. N.G. Spellings succeeded A.M. Hall as Clerk.
The first mention of any offering for missions is recorded in April 1901 and the amount was $4.30.
In 1902 Joe Joyner was ordained. Fleetwood Ball was elected as pastor but did not serve. Charges for dealing in futures for profit or loss were brought against a member.
In 1903 E.T. Butler and E.E. Hicks were elected deacons. Charges were brought against another member for using profanity and another for dealing in futures. Collection for missions was $1.60.
In 1904 the church had no regular pastor. E.G. Butler held a revival and was elected pastor but never served.
In 1905 Dan Brinkley served as pastor for a few months. Then Bro. Summers was elected but never served. A.J. Butler, wife and daughter were received as members. Some were dismissed for dancing and joining the Hard Shell Baptists.
Bro. E.M. Joyner served the church when without a regular pastor. T.M. Boyd was elected in September, 1906 and served a year. J.C. Medlin joined by letter.
Bro. E.G. Butler held the revival in 1907. Ethel Merrick joined by experience and baptism.
J.E. Miles was pastor in 1908. J.B. Petty and wife joined by letter. Sally and Luretta Radford joined by experience and baptism and G.A. Horn and wife. W.C. Sanders was elected clerk.
In 1909, J.M. Joyner was pastor. Eura Blount joined by experience and baptism and M.A. Sanders and wife by letter.
In 1910 the church withdrew fellowship from a brother for drinking. J.N. Joyner was pastor and G.G. Joyner clerk.
G.M. Workman was pastor in 1910-1912. The first foreign mission offering was taken. The only copy of the letter to the Association is recorded in 1911 as follows: Gospel Mission - $6.90; Foreign Missions - $10.30; Orphans Home - $7.50; Pastors salary - $113.50; Ministerial help - $60. Received by letter 7 and by baptism 10. Some of these were Ludie Eubanks, Trula Petty, Archie Smith, Marshall Spellings, Ivan Horn, Will Blount, Will Crider, Willie Compton, Lela Wilson and Ezra Lewis.
In 1913 A.A. Jones was pastor until followed by T.M. Boyd. The mission offering of $11.86 was divided and part sent for gospel missions. Two offerings amounting to $21.96 were taken and sent to the Tennessee Orphans Home. A new roof was placed on the church. Homer Hilliard joined by experience and baptism. W.G. Sanders was elected church clerk.
The salary for T.M. Boyd, pastor for 1914, was set for $150. The collection for Orphans Home was $9.27, for Foreign Missions $7.25 and State Missions $3.00. Bro. Riley Hall was invited to help in the revival. The church voted that the treasurer make a report of collections for the pastor every three months and report who paid same.
In 1915 collection for missions was $12.50, State $2.58 and Orphans Home $2.22. The church was repaired because of damage done by a storm.
In 1916 charges were made against a member and his wife for separation. Dr. C.T. Cox and wife joined and W.T. McCauley and wife and daughter. Keziah Blount, Vonnell Merrick, John Helen Butler, and Glen Joyner were received by experience and baptism during the revival held by Bro. Ed Butler. A. Pinson led the singing.
Again in 1917 Bro. Ed Butler held the revival. O.C. Kirksey and wife joined. Orphan's Home offering was $17.70 and Missions $8.30.
E.H. Martin was pastor 1917 - 1919, and Ezra Lewis became church clerk in 1918. The church voted that the treasurer call the names of those who paid to the support of the pastor. Those who could and did not give were to be considered out of order. Bro. Powers was called to help in the meeting in 1919. The church withdrew membership for a member and his wife for giving dances. J.N. Joyner was elected pastor and served 1919 - 1923.